Mastering team motivation in a post-pandemic world – what leaders need to know.


As the business world evolves, one constant remains: the need for motivated employees. Employee motivation is the engine that drives productivity, innovation, and growth but in a post-pandemic world many employees report feeling burnt out and exhausted – impacting their motivation. Perhaps you’re wondering how you can cultivate and sustain a culture of motivation within your team if you’re a small to medium-sized business owner without a HR department. The answer lies in effective leadership.

But what does effective leadership look like with a burnt-out post-pandemic workforce and how can leaders support their employees to re-build their motivation?

The importance of planning

Effective leadership begins with a well-thought-out plan that clarifies your vision of success and sets the foundation for supportive and flexible employee engagement. It must define clear goals and expectations for your team because when employees understand their roles, responsibilities, and how their efforts contribute to the organisation’s overall success, they are more likely to stay motivated.

However, in this new world that has emerged from the pandemic, there is another driver of motivation that has taken a detrimental hit and thus also needs to be considered in planning – employee wellbeing.

According to a recent article in The Conversation, approximately 50% of employees aged 25-55 feel exhausted at work, with 40% reporting feeling less motivated than before the pandemic, highlighting a real need to identify solid solutions to boost wellbeing and in turn motivation.

To create an effective strategic leadership plan, you should re-consider what success looks like in your post-pandemic business environment and adapt your definition of success to place greater emphasis on employee wellbeing.

Reassessing what success looks like

The concept of success has undergone a profound transformation in the wake of the pandemic. Employee burnout and reduced motivation have become serious issues. However, effective leaders understand that success is no longer solely measured by the bottom line. It also encompasses the well-being and morale of the workforce.

Leaders should prioritise employee wellbeing by re-evaluating success metrics to address this challenge. Consider focusing on alternative aspects such as work-life balance, mental health support, and personal and professional growth opportunities. By aligning your organisation’s goals with the well-being of your employees, you’ll be better positioned to motivate and retain your valuable team members.

Be flexible to experimenting with new ideas

Effective leadership requires adaptability. The business world is dynamic, and what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. To keep employees motivated, leaders must be open to experimentation and innovation. Encourage your team to propose and try out new ideas that can revitalise the workplace.

For instance, consider flexible work arrangements, team-building activities, or wellness initiatives. Empower your employees to take ownership of their projects and provide opportunities for skill development. You can inspire motivation and engagement among your team members by encouraging a culture of experimentation and continuous improvement.

A thriving business begins with the effective leadership of your team. By carefully planning, redefining success with a focus on employee well-being, and embracing experimentation, you can create a workplace where your team feels supported and valued, leading to greater motivation.

Zenith HR is committed to helping businesses like yours create meaningful, healthy, and cohesive work cultures that foster performance and productivity. If you’re interested in diving deeper into the science of effective leadership and well-being, we invite you to explore our upcoming event, the Science of Wellbeing Program, kicking-off on 10th October. Learn more here.

Remember, effective leadership is not a one-time achievement but is ongoing. By prioritising your employees’ motivation and well-being, you can ensure your business reaches its ‘Zenith’ and stays there.


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